2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Stephan Kim

Student leaders lobby federal government

By Fabian Mayer, March 8 2016 —

Student leaders were in Ottawa last week lobbying the new Liberal government for increased post-secondary spending. Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) delegates had 157 meetings with ministry staff, Members of Parliament and Senators from both sides of the aisle.

Students’ Union vice-president external Romy Garrido is the University of Calgary SU’s primary CASA delegate. She deemed the lobby week a success.

“A lot of the MPs across party lines were pretty receptive to everything that we had to say,” Garrido said. “You come out with a really good feeling about what’s going to come out of the next budget.”

SU president Levi Nilson met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while Garrido had seven meetings, including one with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“He’s moved away from the Prime Minister’s Office so it was surprising for us to get a meeting,” she said.

Garrido said the meeting with Harper was to thank him and ask for advice on dealing with the new government.

“In his last budget his government had allocated approximately $900 million towards post-secondary education,” Garrido said. “That is definitely something that we have to acknowledge.”

According to Garrido, the advice Harper gave was mostly about keeping the government accountable.

Some of CASA’s priorities this year are expanding the grants and loans available to students, providing more money for Indigenous students and increasing research funding.

“We thought it would be a good political opportunity to talk about research given that this government has talked about investing more into research,” Garrido said.

The SU paid $53,290 in membership fees to be part of CASA in 2015–16.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet